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THE ZAPRUDER FILM 



SINGLE-BULLET THEORY 



Introduction by David R. Wrone 
Professor of History, 
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 



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THE HSCA, 



THE ZAPRUDER FILM, 

AND THE 

SINGLE-BULLET THEORY 



Raymond Marcus 






Copyright @ Raymond Marcus 1992 
All rights reserved 

1st print, November 1992, 100 




Introduction 



by 

David R. Wrone 



No other question so confounds the mind and 
disturbs the sense of order and rightness in American life 
than the fact that several individuals in numerous agencies 
of the federal government did deliberately, carefully, and in 
full possession of their wits lie, wrong and defraud the 
nation in the fake investigations into the assassination of 
President John F. Kennedy. The enormity of their crime 
cannot be overstated. 

In the almost thirty years since the murder, the 
public has been deluged by wave after wave of books 
attacking the official version. Some of these— a relative few 
compared to the hundreds published— have been solid fact- 
based works that contribute significantly to the historical 
record. Many others have been carelessly concocted slap- 
dash efforts; while still others bear the earmarks of 
deliberate misinformation. 

The sheer volume and dubious value of much of this 
literature presents a serious problem of selection for those 
who become interested in the case. The public is 
bewildered. But the muddled books and multiplicity of 
theories serve another purpose too: in the midst of the 
confusion politicians and pundits and judges and 
historians behave as if they have gotten a reprieve from 
their responsibility. In a sense the American people's search 
for truth about JFK's murder has become a prisoner of 
theorists. 




Now comes Ray Marcus with a booklet on one small 
section of the single-bullet theory that is clear, solid, and 
has no theorizing in it--not a word. It is a beam of sunlight 
punching through the dark clouds obscuring the murder, 
and is much welcomed. 

The color reproductions of 29 Zapruder frames are 
essential for following his text. It is one of the very few 
places a concerned citizen can view some of the frames of 
this basic photographic source for study; the official 
investigations made certain that clear prints for forming 
minds independently of the federally imposed theory of 
Oswald -the-lone-assassin would not be available. 

Some may remember Marcus' excellent booklet of 
1966 with the superb title, The Bastard Bullet: A Search for 
Legitimacy for Commission Exhibit 399. 

In The HSCA he states that a shot came at frame 189 
and that it was frontal and hit JFK in the throat. In 1963- 
64 all federal agencies concluded that between frames 166 
and 210 trees blocked the view of the motorcade from the 
sixth floor easternmost window where Oswald was said to 
have been. The Warren Commission said the first shot 
could only come after the motorcade passed beyond the 
trees, or frame 210. They said this shot caused all non-fatal 
wounds on JFK and Connally. The House Select Committee 
faced with factual impossibilities imposed by the surd, 
disagreed, saying the first shot came with frame 189. They 
asserted that a brief. l/18th of a second, break in the foliage 
occurred at frame 186. With other legerdemain they then 
attempted to sustain the single-bullet theory, necessary to 
the lone-assassin-Lee Harvey Oswald official conclusion. 

Marcus shows that a shot from the Depository at this 
frame is irrational, false, and a fraud. In addition to the 
logic of it, the human eye requires l/6th second to register 
data and react, making the shot impossible and its 
assertion a cover-up by the HSCA. The shot, he 
convincingly demonstrates came from elsewhere and thus 
not from Oswald or anyone else in that window. But the 
learned scientists and seasoned pols who stirred up this 
witches’ brew of a disgraceful investigation had no shame; 
certainly, they did not care what had happened to JFK— or 
the nation, that day in November. 




He also demonstrates the frames reveal a second shot 
hit JFK in the back at 225, which is mechanically impossible 
by the weapon alleged to have been used by Oswald and 
destroys the official conclusion. And, in what is an excellent 
portion, he shows that a hit struck Connally in the back 
near the right armpit at 237. His discussion of the frame 
sequences from 225 to 237 is definitive on Connally being 
struck immediately before he reacted, and not much earlier 
as both the Warren Commission and the HSCA claimed. 
237 requires a separate shot. This is also mechanically 
impossible from 225 by the official assassin and destroys the 
official conclusion. 

This accounts for three shots. But the official theory 
that makes Oswald the lone assassin can only use three 
bullets. How account for JFK's head wounds, and for citizen 
James Tague's wound? At least two additional bullets 
would be required. This means another gun or guns and 
other assassins. 

Marcus restricts himself only to the series of frames 
mentioned. 

It seems beyond question that he has proven shots hit 
JFK at 189 and 225 and Connally at 237. One can be 
cautious and say that it is possible the directions of the hits 
at 189 and 225 are open to further study--frontal or rear-- 
but one cannot avoid the conclusion so convincingly 
provided here that there are shots independent of each 
other at 189, 225, and 237. 

Again the Zapruder film disproves the cockamamie 
official "conclusion" that a single bullet created all non-fatal 
wounds. 

With work like this Americans have solid, serious, 
scholarship, not tainted by theory. In twenty-two pages 
Marcus has done a lot. He shows we must be governed by 
fact, not fiction. 




"Let's wash this concept in critical acid 

and observe how its perimeter contracts. 

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES 



THE HSCA. THE ZAPR ^DER FILM, 
AND THE SINGLE-BUL LET THEORY 

Raymond Marcus 



In its Report issued in 1979, the House Select Committee on 
Assassinations (HSCA) concluded that at least one shot, which they say 
missed, was fired from the right front-the Grassy Knoll. They based 
their finding primarily on acoustical evidence. They 
insisted, as did the Warren Commission, that only two shots struck the 
victims; both from the sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book 
Depository building. Since one shot obviously struck Kennedy s hea 
at fr.313 of the Zapruder film, the HSCA was forced by its adopted 
theory of only two hits, to also agree with the Warren Commission s 
long discredited single-bullet theory--that JFK and Conna y were 
struck by a single bullet which caused all their wounds, other than 

JFK’s fatal head wound. 



However, they differed with the Warren Commission as to when 
this double-hit occurred. The Commission said it happened sometime 
during the fr. 210-225 interval, while Kennedy was hidden 
Zapruder' s camera view by the Stemmons Freeway sign, 
photo panel says the hit occurred just prior to fr.l90. Early 
my Hypotheses re: the Zapruder Film, I too had concluded that 
Kennedy was first hit at approximately fr.l89 (but I believed then and 
now that this was a shot from the knoll, entering Kennedy's throat, 
and that it did not hit Connally). I based my conclusion on three 
criteria visible in the Zapruder film; 



(1) that JFK's right hand, which had been raised in a head- 
high wave to the crowd until fr.l89, drops suddenly to chin/throat level 
in the fraction of a second from fr. 189 -193, and stays at that level unt L 
he disappears behind the sign at fr.207^ 

(2) that Jackie, who had been looking to her left, turns sharply 
to her right and is fully facing JFK by fr.202 (she testified to the Warren 
Commission that when she, turned toward him, his hands were at s 

throat), and 




(3) that the three-frame blur^ which appears immediately 
following fr.l89, in fr.190-192, resulted from Zapruder's startle reaction 
to a shot--which he testified to the Warren Commission he believed 
came from behind him on the Grassy Knoll. 

Fourteen years later the HSCA panel used these same basic 
criteria, JFK'S abrupt hand-drop, Jackie's sudden turn toward him, 
and the blurring of the film in fr.190-192, in determining that JFK was 
hit by fr.l90: ^ adding the observation that immediately after fr.l90, his 
head, which was facing right, turns sharply to his left (toward the 
front). They say, 

"The President's right hand freezes in the middle of a waving 
motion, followed by a rapid leftward movement of his head" , and a 

"...pronounced series of jiggles or blurs on the Zapruder film, one 
during frames 189-197, a time when other visual evidence sugges ts th^ 
President Kennedv was first shot... may reasonably be attributed to the 
photographer's startle reaction to the sound of gunshots , 
(underlines added) 

The panel also concluded that Goyernor Connally, haying been 
struck by this same fr.l89 hit, still shows no yisible reaction as he 
disappears behind the sign in fr.207, and does so only after emerging 
again in fr.224. 1 am confident that they are wrong, and that my own 
conclusion, that he was first hit significantly later, immediately prior to 
fr.238, remains correct. But putting that aside for the moment, how 
does the HSCA reconcile its own photo experts' observations of a two- 
second delay between the reactions of JFK and Connally, with their 
conclusion that they were hit by the same bullet? They do this by 
adopting the Warren Commission's practice, familiar to all who haye 
checked its conclusions against its own eyidence in the Volumes, of 
simply stating a conclusion in their Report that their own evidence fails 
to adequately support, and frequently contradicts. In its Report the 
HSCA says, 

"Taken together with other eyidence, the photographic and 
acoustical eyidence led the Committee to conclude that President 
Kennedy and Goyernor Connally were struck by one bullet at 

approximately Zapruder fr.l90...." ^ 




But the Photo Panel itself, while implicitly indicating that JFK 
and Connally were hit by a single bullet, is willing to state explicitly 
only that 

"By a vote of 15 to 1, [Cyril Wecht dissenting], the Panel 
determined that the relative alignment of President Kennedy and 
Governor Connally in the limousine was consistent with the single- 
bullet theory". ^(underlines added) 

However, the Panel clearly understood that great difficulties 
would ensue from a finding that the single-bullet theory was 
untenable. Therefore, they attempt to narrow the time gap between the 
observed reactions by fuzzy language, dubious observations, and 
flimsily supported conclusions. Since they agreed that the observed 
phenomena clearly establish that JFK was hit by fr.l90, their attempt 
to force the widely separated reactions to fit the single-bullet theory is 
focused on Connally. To this end, they first say, 

"Governor Connally first showed a reaction to some severe 
external stimulus by Zapruder fr.224...He appears to be frowning, and 
there is a distinct stiffening of his shoulders and upper trunk. Then 
there is a radical change in his facial expression, and rapid changes 
begin to occur in the orientation of his head." ^ 

(Actually, these observations do not at all necessarily indicate 
that Connally was already hit, but can just as easily indicate a normal 
startle reaction to the sound of a shot that did not hit him--which in 
fact is consistent with his own frequently stated belief.) The Panel goes 
on to say, 

"In the subsequent frames, Kennedy and Connally appear to 
show simultaneous reaction-type movements. There is less than a 
three-frame (0.16 second) delay in their movements" .^ (underlines 
added) 

Note that the the Panel now seemingly wishes to obfuscate its 
own observations of a thirty-five frame gap between the Kennedy and 
Connally reactions (189-224) by reducing it to " ...less than a three- 
frame delay. ..", and by employing tricky and vague language 
concerning the victims' "...subsequent... simultaneous reaction-type 
movements". They fail to specify, so others can check, precisely to 
which movements they are now applying a three-frame delay. Such 
"subsequent" movements are clearly less useful in trying to pinpoint 
the moment of impact than the initial movements immediately 
following a hit. 




By the next page, the panel is ready to move on to its prime task 
of resuscitating the single bullet-theory by attempting to demonstrate 
that the two victims were properly aligned; and by now has 
linguistically all but eliminated the reaction time differential: 

"Having noted the virtually simultaneous reactions displayed by 
Kennedy and Connally, the panel proceeded to consider whether the 
two men's relative alignment... was consistent with the single-bullet 
theory", (underlines added) 

While basing its erroneous conclusion that Connally was struck 
by fr.l90 on extremely flimsy photographic evidence, the Panel fails to 
take note of and confront the logical implications of very strong evidence 
in the film that (a) he was not vet hit in fr.232 . and (b) he was hit 
immediately prior to fr.238. 

fa) fr.232: This is a critically important frame. By itself, without 
requiring support from the extensive and varied other available 
evidence, it demolishes the single-bullet theory, and with it the 
established myth of the lone assassin. In fr.232 we see Kennedy in 
obvious distress, his hands in front of his throat and chest, his arms 
and elbows flung upward and forward. (In my view, as will be explained 
later, he is reacting to a second hit, this one in the back at fr.225, after 
receiving a throat-entry wound approximately two seconds before, at 
fr.189; the Photo Panel's view being he has by this point been hit only 
once, at fr.l89.) 

The crucial question before us is, has Connally, also, already 
been hit, as the HSCA says? In this frame, 232, having turned from 
looking to his right as he emerges from behind the sign in fr.222, he is 
facing forward and is showing no signs of physical distress. His right 
elbow is down, hidden from us by the side of the car. But we can see his 
forearm, white sleeve cuff, and wrist in a straight-line ascending 
attitude, so that his right hand is in front at shoulder height, in a 
knuckles up, fingers forward and down position. He is holding the brim 
of his hat, most of which is down out of camera view. The Warren 
Commission/HSCA position is that by this time all the Governor's 
wounds have already been inflicted; not only the piercing of his chest, 
which smashed his fifth right rib, but also the multiple fracturing of his 
right wrist, and the simultaneous severing of nerves and tendons 
controlling his right hand and fingers. But it is obvious that he could 
not be holding his hand as he is in fr.232, in an ascending straight-line 
knuckles-up position, fingers still gripping his hat brim, had he already 
sustained the injuries described; whether approximately one second 




5 



before as the Warren Commission says, or two-and-one half seconds 
earlier as the HSCA says. Nor could he have raised his wrist and hand 
to this position, continuing to hold his hat, had his wrist already been 

shattered. 

Comparing Connally's appearance in fr.232 with that \-\!2- 
seconds later in fr.258, by which time he indisputably has been hit, his 
right arm is still held in an ascending attitude, but his wrist and hand 
are now seen dangling limply, as common sense tells us would be the 
case immediately after having been pierced and shattered. No wonder 
the Committee showed no desire, any more than the Warren 
Commission before it, to call attention to fr.232. 

fbl fr.238 : While fr.232 demolishes the single bullet theory by providing 

powerful visual evidence that Connally had not yet been hit, fr.238 
accomplishes the same task by pinpointing the moment when he was 
hit. From a forward facing position in fr.232, Connally starts to turn 
his head and body to his right. By fr.237 he is well around in his turn, 
his chest perpendicular to the camera (which is to the right front of the 
limousine), his head not quite that far around. 

The critical observation here is the movement of his right 
shoulder. Beginning in fr.232, his shoulder describes a continuous 
motion, maintaining a relatively straight-line appearance, with only 
slight frame-to-frame changes as he turns to his right. But this 
appearance is suddenly and dramatically changed in the 1/18-second 

between fr.237-238^\ 

We see in fr.238, that his shoulder is sharply lower than in fr.237 
(Jackie's red roses, which were virtually hidden in previous frames by 
Connally's right shoulder, are now suddenly much more visible in 
fr.238-239). And, as is plainly evident in fr.238-242, Connally's body has 
been instantly halted in mid turn, and his head--which was lagging 
somewhat behind in the turning motion--now snaps rapidly around 
further to his right. 

In the circumstances, the sharp and virtually instantaneous 
shoulder drop between fr.237-238 can only be reasonably attributed to 
the impact of a bullet in his back at that moment, which drove his 
shoulder down and forward (toward Zapruder's camera.) 

While failing to publicly confront specifically this clear and 
dramatic evidence, defenders of the Warren Commission/HSCA single 
bullet theory invariably attribute the acknowledged difference between 
JFK's and Connally's reaction times to a delayed reaction by Connally. 
By thus appealing to the common experience that many people have 




had-of having sustained a blow or injury to which they were 
Toata only later-the defenders deliberately try to obfuscate the 
obvious that there are often two kinds of reactions associated wi an 
S3 ihTmotion imparted to the body by the force of the blow and 
the ^in resulting from the injury. While the latter may well be dela^d 
the former is instantaneous. There can be no reasonable 
what we are seeing in fr.237-238 is the immediate Pb^'^l teacUon t 
the impact of the bullet, and not the delayed reaction to pain from a 
significantly earlier. 

Also, beginning in fr.237-238, Connally's cheeks are notice^ly 
puffed out, as one might experience while coughing ®'=^®tely *n ‘ 
instance, the virtually certain result of air being forced from his right 
lung as a consequence of the slug tearing through his chest. 

If any doubt remained for objective but skeptic^ obse^ers as to 
the meaning of the dramatic drop of Connally's shoulder at fr_ 237^238 
coinciding with his sudden halt in mid-turn, that doubt shouW be 
entirely removed by the obvious puffing of his cheeks in the immediate y 
subsequent frames. 

The HSCA photo panel also managed to avoid noticing the sudden 
motions by JFK immediately foUowing fr.225, which lead me to conclude 
he was struck for the second time at that point. My observations are as 

follows: 

In fr.225, JFK is clearly in distress, reacting to the fr.l89 hit ^o 
seconds earlier. His face is contorted and his hands are in front of his 
chest, right hand above his left. Then there is a four-frame blur at 
fr.226-229, Kennedy’s body is Jolted sharply forward, and the position 
his hands and elbows -particularly his elbows-change dramatically, as 
they are flung upward and forward. The force and speed of these 
movements of his arms and elbows are quite startling when one 
compares fr.226, where they are first discernible, to 
second later. 1 believe the short sharp forward movement of JFK s body 
and the extremely rapid upward and forward thrust of his elbows, 
accompanied by the blurred frames (again, almost certainly caused by 
Zapruder's startle reaction), are most logically explained as resulting 
from the impact of a shot to Kennedy’s back at fr.225. 

It is instructive to examine how the HSCA’s photo panel dealt with 
the evidence of these additional separate hits, in fr.225 and fr. 238. Since 
granting credence to either of these would immediately nullify the 
Committee’s fixed idea that only two shots, both from the TSBD. struck 




7 



the victims, the evasiveness evident in their method is understandable^ 
However, their analysis discloses that they were not entirely unaware ot 
such evidence. Let's look at the two cases separately. 

fr 225- 1 have stated my own conclusion that JFK was struck, for the 
second time, in the back at fr.225. 1 based this on my observation that 
beginning in fr.226, his body moved sharply forward, and his arms and 
elbows are flung upward and forward. The Panel completely ignores 
these movements, readily visible to any layman who looks at me 
individual frames. Together with these rapid movements 1 also noted a 
four-frame blur at fr. 226-229, which 1 believed was Zapruder s startle 

reaction to this shot. 



In conducting its blur analysis, the HSCA usedjihe earlier work of 
the eminent Berkeley physicist. Dr. Luis Alvarez, and that of two 
members of its photo panel. W. K. Hartmann and Frank f cott. In 
addition to blur episodes immediately following fr.l89 and fr. 3 13, which 
they attributed to shots, all three experts also detected the blur at tr.22b- 
229^^ While Alvarez in his 1967 study for CBS concluded this blur 



episode represented a hit, the HSCA dared not pursue this possibility 
for they had already expended, at fr.l89. one of the two hits to which 
they were limited by their theory, and the head hit was still to come. 
Therefore, while ignoring JFK's sudden and dramatic movements 



following fr.225, they say. 



"It is difficult to determine with certainty whether... [this] 
represents an additional shot. [This] blur episode, detected by all three 
analysts occurs at fr. 220-228 lust before movements of Governor 
Connally in which his cheeks suddenly puff out and his face contorts in 
a grimace, followed by two apparent outcries in which his mouth opens 
wide in what appears to be a shout of pain." (underlines added) 



Actually, the graphs of the Committee's own experts, Hartmann 
and Scott, are significantly more specific, clearly indicating they placed 
the blur episode not at "fr.220-228", but at fr.225-228. with a peak 
intensitv at fr.227 (Alvarez' graph alone shows a wider blur episode, 
possibly justifying the "fr.220-228" interpretation, but in the 1967 CBS 
documentary he, too, cites fr.227 as the key frame in this series.) 

I believe this purposeful imprecision is a deliberate attempt by the 
HSCA to fuzz their own experts' findings, and to divert attention away 
from the fact that the blur actually coincides with the rapid Kennedy 
movements following fr.225, and thereby avoid confronting what these 
coinciding phenomena strongly imply. 




fr 238- In the above quoted passage, the HSCA Panel is triply deceptive 
in its comments about Connally. and attempts to mislead by ims- 
statements of omission and commission. First, while mentioning his 
cheek puff, they carefully avoided any consideration of its most logical 
and probable cause--the instantaneous expulsion of air from his 
punctured and collapsing right lung. This clearly would be an 
immediate reaction to the hit, not a delayed one. Second, while the 
experts accurately mark the cheek puff on their graphs at approximately 
fr.236-238^°, in the passage quoted the only frames mentioned are 
fr. 220-228. While apparently inexcusably sloppy, this is perfectly 
understandable behavior considering the HSCA's determination to avoid 
the land mine of a separate Connally hit, at fr.237. And of course, 
concerning his shoulder drop at fr.238. they pretend to be completely 
oblivious; although it is easily observable in a few moments’ examination 
of the individual frames, had been repeatedly and prominently 
mentioned in assassination literature for at least a decade, and was 
specifically called to the attention of the HSCA in my letter to them prior 
2 1 

to their study. 

Their recorded behavior indicates they were aware that had they 
put together in their analysis the observation of Connally's fr.237-238 
shoulder drop--which they failed to mention--with his cheek puff at that 
same instant--which they noted but refused to explore--and had they 
drawn the most reasonable and logical conclusion therefrom, the single 
bullet theory would have instantly collapsed. Instead, by their studied 
and deliberate vagueness, they attempt to telescope and compress all the 
observable movements of both JFK and Connally from fr.l89 on (where 
they conclude correctly that Kennedy was first struck), back to that 
point. This clearly implies their position to be not only that Kennedy's 
movements at fr.l86-189 were caused by the hit at that instant, but also 
his sudden arm and elbow thrust two seconds later at fr. 226-232, and 
Connally's dramatic movements still later, following fr.237, were all 
caused by the same JFK hit at fr.l89. 

This proposition, vital as it is to the Warren Commission/HSCA 
single bullet theory, can be maintained only by ignoring the clear 
evidence of the Zapruder film. 




In summary, the HSCA correctly concluded that JFK was first 
struck by fr.l90, (at a time when he was virtually invisible from the TSBD 
window.) They thereby differed with the Warren Commission 
conclusion that he was first hit in the period between fr. 210-225. But 
they agreed with the Commission's other erroneous conclusion that 
both Kennedy and Connally were struck by a single bullet. They did this 
by drawing unwarranted conclusions from their photo panel's 
assessment of Connally's appearance in fr. 223-225; and by ignoring 
both the much stronger evidence in fr.232 that he was not vet hit, and 
the overwhelming evidence in fr.237-238 that he was hit bv a separate 
shot at that time. They also avoided any serious consideration of the 
evidence pointing toward the likelihood that Kennedy was hit, for the 
second time, at fr.225. 

Its valiant efforts notwithstanding, the HSCA has failed to 
resuscitate the single-bullet theory. Despite its veneer of scientific 
objectivity, its conclusions simply to do not survive close scrutiny. The 
theory is, as it has been from the first, not only unsupported by the 
Warren Commission/HSCA's own evidence, especially the Zapruder film, 
but decisively contradicted by it. Despite specious and self serving efforts 
to claim that the question is not of crucial importance, the clear 
implication which arises from this theory's demonstrable failure was 
most succinctly stated almost three decades ago by Warren Commission 

attorney Norman Redlich, who said, "To say they were hit by separate 

23 24 

bullets is synonymous with saying there were two assassins." 

The visual evidence in the Zapruder film proves the enduring 
validity of his statement. 




Zapruder Frames 

(Passenger Compartment) 





fr.232: Connally not yet hit. Note his right hand and wrist in 

ascending straight-line attitude, at shoulder level, knuckles 
up, fingers forward and down, holding brim of hat. Position 
indicates his wrist not yet struck. 



fr.233-237: Connally turns to his right. Note his right 

shoulder. 



fr.238-242: Connally’s turn is interrupted at fr.238. His right 

shoulder is driven sharply downward as immediate-not 
delayed'-reaction to hit in back (Jackie's red roses are 
suddenly more visible). In fr.237-240 his cheeks puff out as 
air is expelled from punctured right lung. 




fr.226: JFK's arms and elbows start upward and forward 

thrust as result of probable shot in back at fr.225. 



fr.232: Reacting to back hit, JFK's arms and elbows in 

dramatically changed position in 1 /3-second since fr.226. 

Connally not yet hit. Right hand and wrist in ascending 
straight-line attitude. Position indicates wrist not yet 
struck. 



fr.258: Connally obviously reacting to hit which struck him 

one second earlier at 237-238. His hand dangles limply 
forward and down from the wrist (dark area on right hand is 
shadow from chrome bar of windshield). 




Sources 



and 

Notes 




Sources and Notes 



1 The HSCA does not mention publicly the serious problems created by 
its correct conclusion of a JFK fr.l89 hit for its theory that all hits came 
from above and behlnd-the TSBD. The FBI's finding soon after the 
assassination that the foliage and branches of a large tree obstructed 
the view from the TSBD window during fr.166-210, except for a. virtually 
instantaneous 1/18-second opening at fr.l86, has never been seriously 
challenged. This FBI finding makes it extremely unlikely that the fr.l89 
hit came from the TSBD window. 

To believe that it did one must accept that the sixth-floor 
assassin, having failed to fire when he had a clear shot prior to fr.l66 
(not to mention the even better opportunity still earlier when the 
limousine was moving slowly north on Houston Street directly toward 
the TSBD), and too Impatient to wait one second more until fr.210 when 
he would again have a clear shot. Instead chose to fire while his target 
was behind the tree, and managed somehow to sight JFK In his 
telescopic crosshairs and squeeze off an accurate shot either firing 
virtually blind, or during the 1/18-second opening at fr.l86— a time span 
shorter than the 1/6-second physiologically required for an image to 
register in the human eye. 

2. HSCA Report, p.46 

3. HSCA Vol.VI, p.27-28 

4. Doesn't the HSCA's correct conclusion of a JFK hit at fr.l89, coupled 
with the compelling Zapruder evidence— which they failed to confront— 
of a separate hit to Connally forty-eight frames later at fr. 237-238, 
render irrelevant the 42-frame time-constraint (the FBI's determination 
that the minimum firing time between shots with the Mannlicher- 
Carcano was 2.3 seconds, or forty-two frames of Zapruder film at 18.3 
frames per second)? Unfortunately for the Committee's conclusions, 
almost certainly not; for there is strong evidence in the film that 
between the JFK hit at fr.l89 and the Connally hit at fr. 237, Kennedy 
was struck a second time, probably in the back, at approximately fr.225, 
just as he emerges from behind the sign. This is only thirty-six frames 
after he was first hit at fr.l89, and twelve frames prior to the Connally 
hit at fr.237: in both cases shots too closely spaced to have been fired by 
the lone TSBD assassin. (I discuss this in detadl on p. 6.) 

5. HSCA, Report, p.47 

6. HSCA VI, p. 16-17 

7. ibid. 

8. Ibid. 

9. HSCA VI, p. 18 



10. 'While the focus of this essay, as a means of disproving the single 
bullet theory. Is the Zapruder film, the other most potent item of 
evidence attesting to the theory's vulnerability is the long Infamous 
"magic bullet" Itself. I examined various aspects of this vital piece of 
evidence in detail in my 1966 essay. The Bastard Bullet : A Search for 
Legitimacy for Commission Exhibit 399. and came to the conclusion 
that it was planted at Parkland Hospital in order to incriminate Oswald: 
and in fact had not been fired at anyone. Since writing it, a number of 
additional items of pertinent information have surfaced supporting this 




18 



Sources and Notes fcont.) 



conclusion. Among them are the statements by Dr. Joseph Dolce In a 
taped interview for the video. Reasonable Doubt: The S ingle Bullet 
Theory and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (C.S. Films, 1988). 

Dr. Dolce was the chief consultant in wound ballistics for the 
U.S. Army, who supervised tests for the Warren Commission to 
determine If bullets of the same type as C.E.399 could have Inflicted all 
the wounds attributed to It by the Commission (and years later, by the 
HSCA), and emerge in as near-pristine condition as C.E. 399. He says, 

". . . no, it could not have caused all the wounds. Because our 
experiments showed bevond any doubt that merely shooting the wrist 
deformed the bullet drastically. And yet this bullet came out as almost 
a perfectly normal pristine bullet . . they gave us the original rifle, the 
Mannllcher-Carcano, plus one-hundred bullets, 6.5 millimeter, and we 
went and shot the cadaver wrists as I’ve Just mentioned, and In every . 
Instance the front or the tip of the bullet was smashed. It's impossible 
for a bullet to strike a bone, even at low velocity, and still come with a 
perfectly normal tip. The tin of this bullet was absolutely not deformed 
In no instance whatsoever, and In no amount. Under no circum stances 
do 1 feel that this bullet could hit the wrist and still not be deformed. We 
proved that bv experiments, (emphasis by Dr. Dolce In Interview) 

Only those unfamiliar with the Warren Commission's typical 
methods of operation may find It surprising that (1) they--and the 
HSCA after It-falled to interview Dr. Joseph Dolce, and (2) while making 
no mention of the results of the experiments he speeiks of, they claimed 
the tests supported the single bullet theoiy, with C.E.399 as Its agent. 

11. Hypotheses Re: the Zanruder Film, R. Marcus, 1965, (unpublished) 

12. In 1968, Don Olson's study of the Zapruder film convinced him that 
Connally was actually hit at fr. 233-234, Instead of fr.237, as I had 
believed. He suggests that what we are seeing In fr.237-238 is the drop 
of the right shoulder of Connally's Jacket, which as a loose fitting 
garment, lagged a split-second behind as his shoulder is driven down 
from under it. 

13. Connally's cheek puff was first noticed by Joslah Thompson, Six 
Seconds In Dallas, pub. B. Gels, 1967. 

14. Transcript, CBS News Inquiry, The Warren Report . Part I, 
broadcast June 25, 1967. 

1 5. graph, HSCA VI, p.26 

16. I agreed with Dr. Alveirez’ analysis of blurs, as presented In the 1967 
CBS documentary, which Indicated shots at approximately fr.l86, 
fr.225, and the obvious one at fr.313. However, since my own analysis 
(based partially on the blurs, but primarily on the movements of the 
victims) posited additional hits at fr.237 (Connally) and fr.314 (second 
JFK head hit— see note 17), I wrote to him telling him of my findings, 
and asked for more details about his. 




Sources and Notes (cont.I 



In the course of extensive correspondence during 1967 and 1968, he 
admitted that his blur method did not preclude additional shots at the 
points I Indicated, because, 

"I am quite convinced that one cannot use this 
method to look at shots that come closer thanj. 
second, since then the trains [of blur episodes] 
would overlap, and could not be resolved. 

(emphasis added) 

Since the two additional shots I found both fell within the one- 
second limitation he himself had specified for his theory, the results 
reached by our two methods were not incompatible: for his theory, 
while fixing three as the minimum number of shots, was clearly 
Incapable of determining the maximum number. 

Yet CBS In its documentary had based Its conclusion of no more 
than three shots largely on Alvarez' work. Either he had failed to 
inform CBS that due to the one-second limitation he himself specified, 
his theory could not set the maximum number of shots .1 or he did 
Inform them, and they failed. In turn, to inform the public. Of course, 
had they done so, it would have seriously undermined their strenuous 
efforts In support of the Warren Commission. 

Despite my repeated subsequent attempts In correspondenee 
with Alvarez to learn whether or not he had so informed CBS, he 
refused to answer the question. (Alvarez letters to Marcus, May 10 and 
June 8, 1968; Marcus to Alvarez. May 16, May 31, and June 15, 1968.) 

17. After completing my Zapruder paper In Februaiy 1965, Hypotheses 
Re- The Zapmder Film, in which I concluded that JFK's head was struck 
(only) from the front, at fr.312, further study lead me to believe that the 
explosion of his head beginning In fr.313 was the result not of a sing e 
shot, but of two; the first from the rear at fr.312, the second from the 
right front at fr. 313-314 (I first wrote publicly of this in my letter to 
Ramparts Magazine, published In March, 1967). I came to this 
conclusion etfter re-evaiuatlng the following factors: 

(1) His head does not describe a continuous motion, but two distinct 
motions: the first from fr. 312-313, a short, sharp, forward and 
downward movement; and the second, the familiar slamming backward 
emd to his left. In which his head moves rapidly through an up-and-over 
rearward arc, until it contacts the seat back. 

(2) While It seemed clear to me that the force which threw Kennedy s 
head and body to his left rear had to come from the right front, the 
large wound extending forward of his right ear, which first appears In 
fr.314, seemed more consistent with an exit wound, from the rear, than 
an entry from the front. 

(3) Although brain matter and large fragments of bone were hurled 
backward, a considerable amount of matter was thrown forward, 

the Connallys. (A segment of bone W5is recovered near the south curb 




Sources and Notes fcont.) 



of Elm Street, at a location consistent with a shot from the right front: 
and there are reasonable indications that Jackie was reaching for 
another skull fragment as she climbed out onto the rear deck.) 

The multi-directional paths of bone and brain matter, considered 
with factors in (1) and (2), strongly suggested to me that two almost 
simultaneous head hits, first from the rear, then from the right front, 
had occurred. 

Subsequent disclosure by numerous Parkland trauma room 
personnel that, contrary to the official line, JFK had a large wound in 
the back of his head-whlch they identified over the years to various 
interviewers as an exit wound in the right occipital-parietal area (lower 
right-rear area of the skull), strengthened my conviction that he indeed 
had been struck in the head twice. 

In November 1977 and January 1978, the Parkland doctors were 
questioned about the head wounds by HSCA staff. Dr. James Carrico 
said, 

"The head wound was 2-1/2 X 3 Inches, ragged, had blood and hair all 
around it, located in the part of the parietal occipital region. That 
would be above and posterior to the ear, almost from the crown of the 
head, there was brain tissue showing through". 

Dr. Marlon Jenkins, an anesthesiologist, was positioned at the 
head of the table so he had one of the closest views of the head wound. 
He noted that a portion of the cerebellum (lower rear brain) was 
hanging out from a hole in the right rear of the head. 

Dr. Malcolm Perry said, 

"...And I looked at the head wound briefly by leaning over the table and 
noticed that the parietal occipital head wound was largely evulslve and 
there was visible brain tissue.. .and some cerebellum seen..." (HSCA Vol. 
VII, p.278, 287, 302). 

The fact that a number of Parkland doctors, years later and 
under obvious government-inspired pressure, retracted their original 
positions thereby reversing their contradiction of the official line, did 
not convince me that the facts had changed. 

Dr. Charles Crenshaw's book, published in 1992, JFK: Conspiracy of 
Silence, is a valuable record not only of his graphic recollection of the 
appearance and location of Kennedy's wounds, but also of the kinds of 
pressures the Parkland doctors were under to conform to the official 
version. 

18. HSCA VI, p.29 

19. graph, HSCA VI, p.26 

20. ibid. 

21. Letter, R. Marcus to HSCA, Feb. 12, 1977. 

22. See note 1. 

23. Interviewed by Edward Jay Epstein, The Warren Commission and 
the Establishment of Truth. Viking Press, 1966. 



Smirces and Notes (cont.) 



24 Why did the HSCA, while fundamentally differing from the Warren 
Commission by concluding that the assassination did Indeed result 
from a conspiracy, nevertheless insist on clinging to the sln^e bul 
theory? 1 believe the answer lies in the type of conspiracy they were 
willing to find and accept-a conspiracy planned and carried out by the 
Mafia, aided perhaps by some anti-Castro Cubans, but ^eluding y 
Involvement by U.S. government agents: whether acting independently 
or at the direction of their agencies. 

The HSCA 's finding of conspiracy was in fact a full vindication of 
the most basic charge of the critics: that the 

result of a plot, and not the work of a single individual. Therefore, it 
amounted to an historic refutation of the Warren Commissions 
conclusion, and of its nearly unanimous major-media supporters. 

By any objective measure, this should have been headline iiews. 
But in fact, in terms of any sustained Interest, the media barely too 
notice. Of that portion of our population who were adults when the 
HSCA Issued its Report early in 1979, only an 

fraction-even among highly educated and presumably sophisticated 
people— are even aware, to this day, that a committee of Congress, er 
a two-year investigation, came to the conclusion that the assassination 
of John F. Kennedy was the result of a conspiracy— albeit the limited- 
hangout conclusion of a Meifla-inspired conspiracy. 

Over the years, this has become the favored fall-back position 
those who felt, while rejecting evidence of government-connected 
conspiracy, that they could not defend the Warren Commission s one 
lone-nut-kllled-another-lone-nut fantasy. During the por^d of the 
1980's and 1990's. a number of books appeared adopting this 
promulgated Mafla-did-lt line: and a PBS FRONTLINE, television 
documentary was broadcast in November, 1992, narrated by Jac 
Newfleld, propagating the same view. 

But still, while concluding there had been a conspiracy, and 
acknowledging that at least one shot — which they insist missed— c^e 
from the grassy knoll, the HSCA found it necessary to embrace the 
overwhelmingly vulnerable and long discredited single-bullet theory, 
and while correctly concluding that JFK was first struck Just P^or o 
fr 189, instead of fr.210-225 as the Warren Commission saM they 
nevertheless fully adopted the hlt-and-wound pattern described by the 
Commission. 

I believe they did so because to do otherwise would make it 
much more difficult for them to maintain their position of no U.S. 
government-connected involvement. They clearly believed that to 
abandon the single-bullet theory would have forced them to seriously 
confront the many significant questions tending to undermine the 
validity of official positions on such matters as the autopsy report, the 
number of bullets and fragments removed from the ^ 

elsewhere: the number, timing, and direction of shots, the alteration 
and obfuscation of wounds: and the bona fldes of the autopsy photos 
and X-rays. 

Objective study of these questions would make it all but 
impossible to exclude government-connected complicity: certainly 




Sources and Notes (cont.) 



immediately after the fact, and therefore, to greatly Increase the 
probability of before-the-fact culpability as well. Upon careful 
examination. It seems clear that given the evidence publicly available, 
once the Warren Commission seized upon the single-bullet theory as a 
means— It hoped— of resolving the problems posed for Its lone-assassin 
scenario by the physical evidence (bullets, wounds, and the Zapruder 
film), the theory became indispensable to the maintenance of this 
scenario (although they sometimes denied this fact). Consideration of 
these factors eventually forced the theory's acceptance by the HSCA, 
whose conclusions, also, specified that the victims were struck by two 
hits only, both from the TSBD, even while acknowledging an additional 
(missed) shot from the knoll. 

It was early In 1964 that Warren Commission counsel Norman 
Redllch made the statement, while upholding the single-bullet theory, 
that: 



'To say they were hit by separate bullets Is synonymous with 
saying there were two assassins." 

In view of all the circumstances Involved In the matter, a logical 
corollary of the truth of Redlich’s theorem would be; 

To say they were hit by separate bullets Is synonymous with 
saying there was a government-connected conspiracy. 



Comments by Leading Warren Commission/ HSCA Critics: 



"The first published work questioning the Single Bullet Theory 
was written by Raymond Marcus In 1966. The Bastard Bullet took Its 
place beside Sylvia Meagher's Accessories After the Fact . Harold 
Welsberg’s Whitewash . and Penn Jones, Jr.'s Forgive Mv Grief. 
becoming one of the primers for assassination researchers. Marcus has 
added another classic to the assassination literature: The HSCA. The 
Zapruder Film, and the Single Bullet Theory. Every serious student of 
the assassination of President Kennedy should study this essay". 

Mary M. Ferrell 

"All in all, Marcus' booklet is a valuable piece of work". 

Penn Jones, Jr. 

"A crucial aspect of the official contention by the Warren 
Commission and the HSCA is that one bullet transected the President's 
body and continued in Its flight to cause all of Governor Connally's 
wounds. In this analysis by Raymond Marcus, one of the first and 
foremost of the first generation of critics, this specious contention has 
been definitively explored and exposed for the absurdity that it is. In a 
brief, concise study of the Zapruder film, Marcus has meticulously 
proved the Impossibility of the Commission's and the HSCA's premise. 
This work is both important and scholarly and is imperative to the 
study of the President's murder." Maggie Field 



"Ray Marcus' autopsy on what in his fine earlier monograph he 
correctly called The Bastard Bullet exposes the phonlness of the attempt 
to resuscitate that single-bullet bastard by the House Committee. It is 
straightforward in slmplllylng the manufactured official complications 
and then disproving them. Those interested in the single-bullet theory 
should read this worthwhile monograph." 

Harold Weisberg 

"Knowledgeable WCR critics may not all concur with the precise 
scenario set forth by Raymond Marcus in his pictorial analysis of The 
HSCA. the Zapruder Film, and the Single-Bullet Theory. However, every 
serious student of the JFK assassination would most certainly agree that 
the author clearly and incisively proves that the President and Governor 
John Connally were hit by separate bullets. This Illustrated booklet is an 
excellent example of the dramatic effectiveness of demonstrative 
evidence. " Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D. 

"Ray Marcus has done it again. In Marcus' classical book. The 
Bastard Bullet, his analysis of the Zapruder film and Commission 
Exhibit 399 punctured the Warren Commission's single-bullet myth. 
Now, in this new work, he asks us to peer with him again through the 
Zapruder camera lens. His analysis destroys the essential conclusion of 
the Report of the House Committee on Assassinations which sought to 
posit an assassination model which fit a Mafia-non-govemmental 
conspiracy. Marcus' work compels the conclusion that elements of the 
United States government engineered the conspiracy. This fine piece 
deserves to be placed on your library shelf next to his brilliant The 
Bastard Bullet. Make no mistake; on the Zapruder film Marcus is the 
critics' critic. " Vincent J. Salandria